June 4, 2019

Stephen Colbert enjoys interviewing people but also likes watching interviews, he said on Monday's Late Show. "Well, there was a really interesting interview this weekend with presidential son-in-law and Victorian ghost-boy Jared Kushner." Colbert started off with Kushner half-fielding Axios reporter Jonathan Swan's question on whether President Trump is a racist. Kushner said no, adding, "You can't not be a racist for 69 years then run for president and be a racist."

Colbert kind of agreed: "He's right, you don't just become a racist at 69 years old. But Trump was 67 when he called all Mexicans murderers and rapists, 43 when he campaigned for death sentences for the Central Park 5, and a boyish 27 when the DOJ sued him and his father for racist housing policies." When Swan asked about Trump's birtherism, "Jared's brain went to its panic room," he said, showing the clip. "Wow, Jared has not been taken to the woodshed like that since he was carved by Geppetto."

Kushner said he thinks Trump's legacy will be bringing people into government "who are not 'qualified' by conventional standards." Colbert laughed at Kushner's air quotes: "Fun fact: Not 'qualified' by 'conventional standards' is actually the first line of Jared's résumé. I'm joking, of course — he doesn't have a résumé."

"Despite his important role in the administration, Kushner rarely does on-camera interviews," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show, and now we know why. He explained some shortcomings of Kushner's first-hand theory of racism, but he found it kind of "refreshing that Jared didn't just lie, like Kellyanne Conway or Sarah Huckabee Sanders would. Because you know if one of them got asked that question, they would be like, 'No, Trump wasn't racist for birtherism — Obama was racist for being born in Kenya.' But seriously, how is Jared so bad at lying? He's around Trump all the time. You would think that he would practice." Watch below. Peter Weber

8:23 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) let billionaire Sheldon Adelson know exactly how much he would pay under her proposed Ultra-Millionaire Tax by taking out a full-page ad in his newspaper and spelling it out for him.

The ad ran Thursday in Adelson's Las Vegas Review-Journal, just two days before the Nevada caucuses. Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, is a major Republican donor and supporter of President Trump. The Nevada Independent's Jon Ralston tweeted a picture of the ad, which says Adelson has a net worth of $39.6 billion. During the first year of Warren's plan, he would pay $2,300,000, less than six percent of his wealth.

"Today, our economy is only working for a thinner and thinner slice at the top," the ad says. "That's why Elizabeth Warren has a plan for an Ultra-Millionaire Tax on the richest 75,000 Americans." As the ad is Nevada specific, it says that the funds generated by this tax would make hundreds of thousands of Nevadans eligible to have their student debt canceled; make roughly 91,000 Nevada families eligible for free, quality child care; provide additional funding for public K-12 schools; and eliminate tuition and fees at Nevada's public universities, community colleges, and trade schools. Catherine Garcia

7:20 p.m.

While at a private event in England on Wednesday night, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said for the U.S. economy to keep growing, more immigrants need to come to the country.

The Washington Post obtained audio of Mulvaney's remarks, made at the Oxford Union. He told the crowd the United States is "desperate — desperate — for more people. We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we've had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants." He stressed that they must come in a "legal fashion."

President Trump is surrounded by immigration hardliners like senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who wants to curtail both legal and illegal immigration, and others who argue that immigrants increase wage competition against U.S. workers. Last year, Trump said the United States is "full," and people trying to cross the southern border need to "turn around." Mulvaney said the president might have an "anti-immigrant" reputation, the Post reports, but he wants to lure more foreign workers to the U.S. Catherine Garcia

5:41 p.m.

President Trump would rather keep the facts to himself.

Last week, the House Intelligence Committee reportedly received a briefing detailing how Russia was once again interfering in the 2020 election. The next day, Trump attacked his outgoing national intelligence director for letting the briefing happen, people familiar with the exchange told The New York Times.

The committee, led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), learned from intelligence official Shelby Pierson that Russia was working to get Trump re-elected this fall, five people familiar with the matter said. Pierson has a reputation for bluntness, and some officials who heard about the briefing suggested Pierson should've left out the bit on Russia to avoid riling up Republicans in the room. Trump's allies at the briefing "challenged the conclusions, arguing that Mr. Trump has been tough on Russia and strengthened European security," the Times writes.

An even bigger uproar came the next day from Trump himself, who attacked Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire for what was said in the briefing. This happened last Friday, and by Wednesday, Trump announced he was replacing Maguire with U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who's unabashedly loyal to the president. Read more at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:13 p.m.

Another day of jury deliberations in the Harvey Weinstein rape trial has wrapped, but we still don't have a verdict.

The jury concluded its third day of deliberations on Thursday, sending a note to the court near the very end of the day, The Wrap reports. The jury reportedly wanted to revisit the cross-examination of Annabella Sciorra, whose allegation that Weinstein raped her in 1993 or 1994 is being used to support the charges of predatory sexual assault. The jury also wanted to revisit all of Sciorra's subsequent testimony, Deadline reports.

Because the request came close to the end of the day, this testimony will be read back to jurors "first thing" on Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The jury also asked to see a list of people Sciorra says she told about the alleged rape, but the request was denied since this wasn't entered into evidence, per Deadline.

The jury on Thursday reportedly reviewed evidence having to do with both Sciorra's testimony and the testimony of Mimi Haleyi, who alleges Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, Variety reports. Haleyi's claim is central to the case, and Weinstein is facing charges over both Haleyi's allegation and the allegation of Jessica Mann, who alleges the disgraced producer raped her in 2013.

The Reporter notes that "of the seven notes that the jurors have sent to the judge, several have related to Sciorra's allegations against Weinstein, suggesting the panel has been laser-focused on her case." None of the questions so far have had to do with Mann's allegation.

Weinstein is facing potential life in prison. Jury deliberations will continue on Friday morning.

Brendan Morrow

4:54 p.m.

Fourteen Americans who contracted coronavirus on a cruise ship in Japan were transported back to the U.S. against the wishes of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Washington Post reports.

A total of 328 Americans were quarantined on the Diamond Princess ship for weeks before test results showed 14 of them had the COVID-19 virus, the Post writes. The U.S. State Department had said no one with the infection would be allowed on a flight. But it fought with the CDC to transport the infected people, who weren't showing symptoms, back anyway on the same flight and separated from those not infected by a "plastic-lined enclosure," the Post writes. State eventually won, but the CDC reportedly refused to puts its name on the press release announcing the flight.

More than 600 people on the ship contracted the coronavirus, and two passengers, both in their 80s, died on Thursday. South Korea also reported its first death from the disease on Thursday as case numbers there swelled by about two-thirds, per the Post. China reported new coronavirus numbers of Wednesday that seem to show spread of the infection is slowing, with 394 new infections and 136 deaths added in the past week, CBS News reports. Kathryn Krawczyk

3:59 p.m.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed up for his first Democratic debate on Wednesday, and it seems safe to say there was some interest.

About 19.7 million people tuned in for the Nevada Democratic debate on Wednesday between NBC and MSNBC, making this the most-viewed Democratic primary debate ever, CNN reports. A June 2019 Democratic debate previously set the record with 18.1 million viewers.

This number was particularly impressive when you consider that it's not too far below the viewership for the 92nd Academy Awards, which recently sank to to an all-time low with an audience of 23.6 million viewers. The Nevada debate still falls short of the 24 million viewers who tuned into the first debate of the 2016 Republican primaries.

The Nevada Democratic debate turned into something of a roast of Bloomberg, with every candidate pummeling the former mayor, whose debate performance was subsequently panned by pundits. It was certainly the most combative of the Democratic primary debates so far, and if viewers are up for another round, the next one is just five days away on Feb. 25. Brendan Morrow

3:21 p.m.

Twitter is reportedly planning to make sure the world's most powerful people stick to the facts.

The social media platform is cooking up new methods of fighting misinformation on the site, including using brightly colored labels to point out "harmfully misleading" tweets sent by politicians and public officials, NBC News reports via a leaked demo of the project. Screenshots of the demo, which was running on a publicly available website, show a vibrant orange box placed beneath a tweet labeling it misleading.

Information that corrects the tweet follows the orange box, and Twitter says those fact-checks could come from verified journalists or perhaps independent users working through a "community reports" program. People who contribute to the program might earn points and badges if they "provide critical context to help people understand information they see," the demo reads.

Twitter confirmed to NBC News that this is one potential piece of its new policy on fighting misinformation, which will roll out March 5. Read more at NBC News. Kathryn Krawczyk

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